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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0004, 1945-11-10.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0017

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 17 Date: 10 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Shintoism (Editorial) - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 3 Nov 45. Translator: M. Kato.
Full translation:
Mr. VINCENT, Chief of the Far Eastern Section of the State Department made the following statement about Japanese SHINTOISM. "If it is of a personal nature, an object of faith of individuals it is all right but if SHINTOISM is forced upon the people and the lead is taken by the Government, SHINTOISM should be prohibited." He further stated "The Japanese Nation would not pay taxes for SHINTOISM nor can they afford to maintain Schools for the SHINTO Doctrine." SHINTOISM will do no harm as long as it is believed in by people who worship their household God and Shinto tablets placed on a sacred shelf in one corner of the sitting room.
So far so good, but we often perceive or hear of instances of some sects of Shinto that are as harmful to the people as the itch. They secretly steal into our scientific life and spread grotesque superstitions spells.
There are many sects in Shintoism beside Shintoism Proper, some of which are hypocritical enough to take advantage of the ignorance of the lower classes or to approach the beds of sick people to capture them when their minds and nerves are weakened. There are few invalids who have not had such experiences or who have not been compelled to come under the influence of some spell or an unscientific cure for their diseases. We often see instances in which some heretical sect of Shinto is cunning enough include science in its doctrine. Some believers of one such sect were forced to drink the bath water of the heretical founder; some were forced to take the ashes of burnt toads or rats; and some were unfortunate enough to have to swallow fleas to cure their diseases. Even though the victims, in that instance, refused this barbarous remedy, they in the end were compelled to obey their parents who believed the oracle, or told them it was their duty to take fleas. Those who refuse obstinately to take such remedies are frightened by the inhuman, threatening curses of the heretical God. An instance is reported in which an invalid was obliged to present her best clothes to the heretical God, to assure her recovery, When the remedy failed, quite unexpectedly her father was accused of reluctance to present her clothes, and he was persuaded that that was the cause of her death.
Heretical sects of Shinto not only aim at sick families but they sometimes plot the legal acquisition of hospital. For example, a hospital at TATEYAMA in CHIBA Prefecture was occupied by that means, when ten or more per cent of the nurses became believers. The nurses planned to convert the patients to the heretical belief, with the aim of subjecting them to an unscientific cure. We cannot sit idly by and see such heretical influences spread like mould. If, in this way,

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POLITICAL No. 4 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
heretical sects of Shinto continue their harmful work, and the priests of Shinto Proper show no enthusiasm for clarifying its doctrine on the establishment of fair Shinto, Shinto will play no important part in new Japan. It will only be harmful. We are now in New Japan, so we must strive to wipe out the influence of heretical spells not only in Shinto but in everything,
We must now be more scientific, efficient, and reasonable, and we must be careful not drive the ignorant to despair or make them victims of the curse of feudal times or of the oracle of the heritical God, because traditional Shinto is apt to follow a path opposite to that of the advancing world.
ITEM 2 To Form Whole League of Labor Unions - Asahi Shimbun - 4 Nov 45. Translator: H. Takahashi.
The third meeting of the Central Provisional Committee on Labor Union Formation was held at KYOCHO KAIKAN in SHIBA on 3 November. As the result of the meeting a single labor union to unify all labor unions was recommended. It will be called "Whole League of Labor Unions." The general construction of the union will be decided 22 November by a provisional committee.
ITEM 3 Is Prince Konoye a Liberalist? - Asahi Shimbun - 4 Nov 45. Translator: H. Takahashi.
Senator Elbert TOHMAS discussed one problem of Japanese democratization. Its purport follows:
In spite of the fact that it is Japan's duty to form a democracy, no important reform for liberty has been carried out without the immediate direction of the Allied authorities. Prince KONOYE who has the highest rank of the class next to the Imperial Household and is one of the most famous men in JAPAN, is engaged in the improvement of the Japanese constitution, I hear.
In spite of his decision to strip himself of all the honours, I have never been informed that he suggested improvement of the working classes. And also he has not yet referred to the various principles democracies must have. At one time the Japanese Government refused the demand of the Occupation Powers for protection of the people from extortion by the Zaibatsu.
Therefore, I doubt whether Prince KONOYE is a liberal and moreover I am obliged to put forth the following questions about his position. The AJIA KYOKAI which was initiated by KONOYE in 1933 conceived the idea of the Greater East Asia sphere of influence for the first time and the Black Dragon Society of which he was a member had intimate relations with the associations of UYOKU who desired war.
Will he assume complete responsibility for his misconduct which led JAPAN to attack CHINA and cooperate with GERMANY? Does he think he can make sufficient amends by resigning his honours, in spite of his wealth and powerful influence? Will he demand from the present Japanese nation enough compensation for the people who were ruined by Japan's aggression while he was premier?
The Allied authorities are much interested in each of these questions.
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POLITICAL No 4 (Continued)
ITEM 4 Labor movement - Mainichi Shimbun - 5 Nov 45. Translator: H. Kato.
In response to the desire of the control authorities to form a single nation-wide labor union, numerous branch unions are being established successively all over the country. The Welfare Ministry has created a labor union law to cope with the new situation. A great labor union era is coming.
According to the reports of the Central Preparation Committee for Foundation of a Labor Union's on Nov 3, the concrete nation-wide move is as follows:
In HOKKAIDO districts each mine has commenced activity to establish a union. The reason is that persons formally engaged in union organization were called to work there during the war. In a certain coal mine inside the KARACHI branch office, the majority of the 2,000 miners formed a union to improve their conditions and wont on strike for a day to achieve their purpose.
In HOKKAIDO and OTARU a seaman's union was formed and employees in other quarters have began preparation for its formation. In the cities of AOMORI and HIROSAKI in AOMORI Prefecture, a definite labor movement is seen, but laborers in these quarters were troubled by the abolition of fishing rights in the northern seas. About 200,000 fishermen of HOKKAIDO and AKITA with AOMORI as center who go out to the northern seas to fish, were thrown out of work. They are petitioning the Allies to allow them to fish in the northern seas as before. There is a definite labor movement at TOKIWA coal-mine in FUKUSHIMA and at NAKAIIMA Airplane Company in GUMMA Prefecture. The area which suffered most severely in the war was KANAGAWA Prefecture centering in YOKOHAMA which was the most active place of the movement. Some factories lowered a wage of 15 yen a day to 1.5 yen in the bustle and confusion at the termination of war.
Therefore the formation of a union is urgent in each factory.
In the IKEGAI Company, a union has already formed and has gained a victory in the dispute with the company. In URAGA Dock Company, TOKYO-SHIBAURA Company, ASANO Cement Company, etc., the formation of a union is being prepared. The TOKYO Transportation Associations, TOKYO-Gas Company, Grocery Association, wager-earners of the TOKYO prefectural office, the salaried class, the employees of the Department of Communication, etc., are all preparing for the formation of labor unions. The movement for a labor union in the newspaper companies is particularly active.
In NAGOYA, the birthplace of the SANGYO HOKOKU Association which had a part in the execution of War, municipal tram-way services, private railway companies, and pottery makers in SETO are hastily forming it. In KYOTO-KOBE-OSAKA district municipal tram-way services, dyeing and weaving works, and employees of the Communication Ministry are also forming labor unions. The situation is likewise at the coal mines of KYUSHU. As soon as unions are formed everywhere, it is expected that the central committee will hold a mass meeting for the organization of a single nation-wide labor union.
A first mass meeting of forming fisherman's Union in fish-abundant JAPAN was held at the KURAMAE KOGYO Hall in SHINBASHI at 1100, 4 November. With Mr. HIKITA in the chair, Mr. KATAYAMA was nominated for president and Mr. KURODA and MIYAZAKI for the vice-president. Mr. TAHARA reported progress in forming a union, and the following were passed as drafted:
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POLITICAL No. 4 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
Request for the establishment of the Fishery Ministry.
Requests for the democratization of the marine products associations and the mass resignation of the present officials.
Request for the hastening the return of fishing in the far areas.
Request for the establishment of the central depository of fishery.
Request for the hastening of the importation of fishing equipments.
Request for an increase in the number of fishery college.
Request for increased nation of staple food for fishermen who go out to the sea.
ITEM 5 Local Inspectorate-General Abolished - Asahi Shimbun - 6 Nov 45. Translator: S. Kido.
The plan of the government favoring the abolition of the eight local inspector-general bureaus, substituting there for local administrative bureaus, having been approved at the Privy Council on October 3, was postponed on demand of Allied GHQ. The Home Ministry had been negotiating on this matter with the Allied headquarters, which approved the plan as of November 1. The Home Ministry will put the plan into effect on the 6th. The new local administrative bureaus will be setup at offices of the inspector-general, in the prefectures. However, in HOKKAIDO no bureau of military affairs will be established as the governor will act for the bureau. The president of the bureaus will also act as the former prefectural governor in liaison with the local administration. A vice-president (directly appointed by the Emperor), two or three secretaries and a number of commissioners will serve under him.
The bureau will also have a local administrative liaison assembly consisting of the local governor and officials from the respective ministries. In addition, a. local commerce and industry dispostition section corresponding to the former munitions superintendence bureau, will be set up.
ITEM 6 Labor Disputes - Asahi Shimbun - 6 Nov 45. Translator: S. Seigo
Full translation:
As it is very probable that labor disputes will arise as a result of discharges, change of laborers, or progress of the labor movement, the Welfare Ministry is considering redrafting the present labor mediation laws. But to make the best of present labor conditions, the following, after being submitted to the Cabinet, will be brought to the attention of the prefectural governors:
A permanent mediation committee consisting of a representative of capital, of labor, and one impartial layman will be set up under each prefeotural governor.
Positive conciliation between capital and labor will be recommended in principle, and only difficult cases will be submitted to the committee for arbitration. The committee must call for mediation early in case of diffulties.
Mediation, especially in regard to wages or working conditions, must take into account the general welfare as well as the particular conditions in each factory or business.
Mediation by the police force must not be undertaken in any circumstances in labor disputes. Any action in labor disputes taken by the police will be considered to be a criminal offense.

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POLITICAL No. 4 (Continued)
ITEM 7 Bureaucratized Tokyo-to Authorities Indifferent to the Citizens' Cry Home Ministry Officials Serve a Short Period - Asahi Shimbun - 6 Nov 45. Translator: K. Takei.
Since the end of the war, hope has been abroad in and out of the city that the bureaucratic TOKYO-TO Office would be democratized. In this connection, an urgent move to elect the TOKYO Prefectural Governor officially and to democratize the city administration, which was proposed at the extraordinary session of the city assembly of last month, and a similar decision of the KOJI-MACHI Ward Assembly about the same time are quite noteworthy.
The administrative system of TOKYO-TO was established by the TOJO Cabinet in July 1943 in order to solidify the defense structure of the city. That this system became bureaucratic was unavoidable. Now the good feeling which existed at the time of the city administration has disappeared and even ward clerks have become bureaucratic. The cry for the organization of a Citizens' TOKYO-TO Office is becoming louder even among the officials themselves. The head of one section of the Office remarked as follows:
Since the effectuation of the administrative system of TOKYO-TO, everything has become bureaucratic, and even clerks in charge of distribution in ward-offices have become automatons, receiving and delivering things to the citizens. The majority of the officials who are natives of TOKYO-TO keenly feel that they cannot expect much from the present Office. In the time of TOKYO City, the officials could hope that they might be promoted to head of a section or even of a department, but now all important seats are monopolized by former officials in the Home Office. Just note the kaleidoscopic changes of chiefs of sections and bureaus! To quote an instance, in the course of two years and four months from the establishment of the TOKYO-TO Office, Chiefs of sections in the Welfare and Economic Bureaus who are most closely connected with the citizens' life were each replaced by three or four officials from the Home Office.
This state of affairs will not enable them to keep in close touch with the citizens' life or to attend to their business. How can kindness be expected from such officials? In an Office in which the authority of the assembly is weakened, there are none responsible for the administration, and no spirit of TOKYO-TO is felt in the Prefectural system. In the time of the first governor CEDACHI, there was something like spirit, but in the time of the second governor, even the shadow of such spirit disappeared.
In order to clarify the authority of the TOKYO-TO Prefectural Assembly and of the Governor, there must be organized a committee system, and there should be discussing of what should be brought before the Assembly, so that the will of the citizens may be reflected. It is hoped that the distinction between government and municipal officials will be removed, ward-offices will be democratized, and all administration of the TOKYO-TO Prefectural Office will be carried out through ward-offices. To do this, such authority as that for taxation and supervision of schools should be returned to the ward assembly just as in the time of the city administration. General affairs concerning distribution, water-supply and communications a may be managed in the Prefectural Office. But, on the whole, the Prefectural Office had better supervise ward-offices, and make the latter attend to the above-mentioned work.
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POLITICAL No. 4 (Continued)
ITEM 7 (Continued)
In short, the Characteristic of the TOKYO-TO Office may be like that of provincial prefectures. But ward-offices must be completely self-governing bodies. Thus, the public election of the TOKYO-TO governor and of the ward-chiefs is absolutely necessary.
ITEM 8 Towards the Attainment of Democracy - Yomiuri-Hochi - 6 Nov 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
Towards the attainment of Democracy (Round table conference) The fate of the Emperor's Regime should be decided by Referendum
In a few days time I intend to gather together fighting men of the whole country and discuss the future course we are to take. In the meantime I cannot say anything definitely at this conference.
About 1923 I, with some of my friends called on TOKUGAWA-SAN to tell him to give up his title. As a result, one of these friends died in jail. To avenge him another friend set fire to TOKUGAWA's house and destroyed it and the man was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. About three years ago the prison authorities applied for a parole for him but the application was turned down on the grounds that the offense was connected with the TOKUGAWAS and so not a day could be reduced.
Not only the TOKUGAWA, but all the peers should give up their titles, I contended, and as soon as I was elected to the Diet I sent in a memorandum that effect but the Government did not reply on the pretension that the matter concerned the Imperial Family.
As a communist I must persist in the belief that the Imperial regime must be abolished. Suppose we admit that the system was abused by the militarists and bureaucrats, but to permit a system always subject to such abuses is pretty dangerous, however the Emperor's prerogatives should be curtailed, because when a reaction sets in [illegible]in future we can easily imagine the consequence, especially when you know as well as I do that there are some men who openly declare that they are hoping to restore their power in future.
Further, we must support the abolition of the Emperor system on the ground that the danger of torturing the people must not be repeated and I am sure that with the development of the General trend more people will gradually appreciate the necessity. However as we cannot force an ideas on the people the question of the abolition ought to be put to referendum.
Do you mean to distinguish the Emperor as a system from the Emperor as an object of faith!
These two are very closely interlocked as in the case of the Tsars of RUSSIA, the Sultam of TURKEY and other feudal monarchs. They were all thought to be integral parts of the current systems. In my
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POLITICAL No. 4 (Continued)
ITEM 8 (Continued)
opinion, however, the Emperor system and the Emperor himself should not logically be distinguished. In any case as he is regarded as something like an object of faith among some Japanese people, despite the support of the abolition, the question should be decided by referendum.
His Majesty himself is said to have told foreign correspondents the other day that he supports the opinion that future JAPAN will be a Constitutional Monarchy like GREAT BRITAIN. Also some Constitutionalists essayists and so forth are of the opinion that it is desirable as well as rational that JAPAN should become a constitutional Monarchy like ENGLAND. What I want to make clear, however, is the position of the King of ENGLAND in the Constitution. At the time of the compilition of the constitution in JAPAN, the ENGLISH counterpart, not mentioning the republican French one, was regarded as conflicting with the Japanese polity and a thorough Pressure was brought to hear upon those who adovocated the adoption of the ENGLISH pattern.
According to the memoranda of the drafters the current notion was perceived to be that the ENGLISH system was not compatible with JAPAN in that in ENGLAND "King reigns but not governs" whereas, if the system was imported from England, into JAPAN, the Emperor having just snatched the sovereignty from the SHOGUNATE, such sovereignty would have been lost by the people that therefore the Constitution must be compiled with the Emperor's sovereignty as intact as possible.
Therefore to attempt to set up an ENGLISH style constitutional monarchy is a revolutionary change viewed from the fundamental spirit of the present Imperial Constitution, Prince KONOE and others are adovocating the adoption of the English pattern, but I wonder if they know of the revolutionary revision. Some have very vague ideas in this matter but it is necessary that they should clearly recognize that the position of the ENGLISH King in the light of the Constitution is fundamentally different from that of this country. The King of ENGLAND is politically powerless which is the fundamental reason the monarchial system still remains under the democratic parliamentary politics.
If the system is adapted without paying due consideration to this aspect there is danger that the construction of democratic JAPAN would clash with the Emperor somewhere. As far as the MEIJI Restoration is concerned the Imperial system played a progressive part but at the sametime it was abused as an instrument for impeding the development of JAPAN democracy, When the Emperor was surrounded by progressive persons the system played a progressive part but if surrounded by reactionary bureaucrats, it is apt to be abused for reactionary and feudalistic purposes.
If the Imperial system is to continue owing to the popular sentiment or other reasons, a systematic guarantee must be firmly set up that it should not be instrumental for either good or bad administration, otherwise who can tell that the abolishment, as claimed by Mr. SHIGA, will not become the nations unanimous voice. In this sense I hope the coming Constitution may contain such a solid guarantee.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0004, 1945-11-10.
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